Per Häljestam's best photos from UFC Fight Night 118 in Poland

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GDANSK, Poland – Check out the best photos from Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 118 event in Poland.

MMAjunkie and USA TODAY Sports photographer Per Häljestam was cageside at Ergo Arena in Gdansk for the UFC Fight Pass-streamed event.

Check out his favorite images from the fight card, which saw Darren Till (16-0-1 MMA, 4-0-1 UFC) score a dominant first-round TKO victory over Donald Cerrone (32-10 MMA, 19-7 UFC) in the welterweight headliner.

For more on UFC Fight Night 118, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Filed under: News, Photo Gallery, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

What Does Derrick Lewis Do for Fun? (Hint: It Goes 130 mph!)

(Subscribe to MMAWeekly.com on YouTube)

UFC heavyweight Derrick Lewis had a rough go of it at UFC 216. He was slated to fight former heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum in a featured main card bout. A victory over Werdum would have blasted him into title contention. 

That all came crashing down on the day of the fight, when a lingering back issue flared and Lewis had to withdraw from the fight. 

TRENDING > Heather Hardy’s Defiant Statement Following Bloody Bellator Loss

What didn’t come crashing down was Lewis’ car when he pushed it to 130 miles per hour. 

Yes, believe it or not, Lewis says he has driven his car that fast… on the street… and he’s still a free man. Hey, it’s what he does for fun.

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Source: MMA Weekly

Sean Shelby's Shoes: What's next for Darren Till and UFC Fight Night 118's other winning fighters?

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

A potential star was born in Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 118 headliner when Darren Till added a most noteworthy win to his undefeated record against fan favorite and former UFC title challenger Donald Cerrone.

Till (16-0-1 MMA, 4-0-1 UFC) bludgeoned Cerrone (32-10 MMA, 19-7 UFC) for a first-round TKO in the UFC Fight Pass-streamed welterweight main event at Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland, adding more credibility to those touting him as the next big thing from England.

Prior to Till’s impressive win, Karolina Kowalkiewicz (11-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC), Jan Blachowicz (20-7 MMA, 3-4 UFC) and Oskar Piechota (10-0-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) all made impressions for various reasons with key victories.

After every event, fans wonder whom the winners will be matched up with next. And with another night of UFC action in the rearview mirror, it’s time to look forward, put on a pair of Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard’s shoes, and play UFC matchmaker for UFC Fight Night 118’s winning fighters.

* * * *

Oskar Piechota

Should fight: Trevor Smith
Why they should fight: He didn’t have a thrilling fight or decisive finish, but as far as UFC debuts go, Piechota turned in a solid performance with his unanimous-decision victory over Jonathan Wilson.

The former Cage Warriors champion admitted post-fight that he probably wasn’t as physically prepared for his first octagon appearance as he should have been. His conditioning showed, but he vowed to come back in better shape for his next fight.

Piechota is another solid European to join the UFC roster, and in a middleweight division filled with opportunity, the unbeaten fighter has some potential to flourish. Smith (15-7 MMA, 5-4 UFC) is a tested veteran who has a lot of experienced in the UFC, Strikeforce and various other notable organizations. “Hot Sauce” was forced out of a fight on the same card due to injury, but as soon as he recovers, a matchup with Piechota would work for his comeback.

Jan Blachowicz

Should fight: Jared Cannonier
Why they should fight: With his UFC career likely on the line, Blachowicz delivered in a key moment when he scored a slick second-round submission of Devin Clark in their light heavyweight bout.

Blachowicz entered the UFC several years ago with a lot of hype behind him. He’s struggled against top competition, but perhaps his strong effort against Clark will represent a turning point.

The Polish fighter needs to continue his rebuild process, and a matchup with Cannonier (10-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) is fitting. Cannonier just lost his UFC on FOX 26 opponent Antonio Rogerio Nogueira due to a potential USADA violation. and Blachowicz is in position to be a suitable replacement.

Karolina Kowalkiewicz

Should fight: Jessica Andrade
Why they should fight: Former strawweight title challenger Kowalkiewicz rebounded from a two-fight skid with a unanimous decision win over promotional newcomer Jodie Esquibel to get her career back on track.

Kowalkiewicz is still one of the top contenders in the 155-pound division, and now that her rough patch is a thing of the past, she can return to fighting fellow elite names in her weight class.

During her post-fight interview Kowalkiewicz mentioned a showdown with Andrade (17-6 MMA, 8-4 UFC), who is coming off a dominant win over Claudia Gadelha at UFC Fight Night 117. The Brazilian named Kowalkiewicz as someone she wants to fight, and with all sides apparently on board, the matchup makes itself.

Darren Till

Should fight: Winner of Santiago Ponzinibbio vs. Mike Perry at UFC on FOX 26
Why they should fight: Watch the video above to see why Till should fight the winner of the UFC on FOX 26 bout between Ponzinibbio (25-3 MMA, 7-2 UFC) and Perry (11-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) next.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 118, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Cornerman punches fighter at KSW 40 after bout ends in no-contest because of eye pokes

Norman Parke and Mateusz Gamrot ran it back today at KSW 40 in a rematch of their lightweight title fight, and things did not end well for either fighter.

Parke, winner of “The Ultimate Fighter:Smashes” in 2012, landed a low blow and eye poke in the first round. And then in the second round, Parke (23-6-1) landed another eye poke on Gamrot (13-0), resulting in the fight being called off in the second round as a no-contest.

That, as you can imagine, did not sit well with Gamrot or his corner. And, well, one of his cornermen decided to take action.

Welp.

via GIPHY

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 118 post-event facts: Details behind single-round knockdown record

Donald Cerrone had a chance to make all sorts of UFC history on Saturday in the UFC Fight Night 118 main event. Unfortunately for him, Darren Till had other plans.

Till (16-0-1 MMA, 4-0-1 UFC) prevented Cerrone (32-10 MMA, 19-7 UFC) from tying the all-time UFC wins record in the UFC Fight Pass-streamed welterweight headliner at Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland, scoring a one-sided first-round TKO victory to add to his undefeated record.

The Brit is quickly climbing the ladder of longest streaks without a loss among UFC fighters, and his performance highlighted an 11-bout card. For more on the numbers in the UFC’s second fight card in Poland, check below for 35 post-event facts to come out of UFC Fight Night 118.

* * * *

General

The UFC-Reebok Athlete Outfitting payout for the event totaled $100,000.

Debuting fighters went 3-3 at the event.

Till, Jan Blachowicz, Brian Kelleher and Damian Stasiak earned $50,000 UFC Fight Night 118 fight-night bonuses.

UFC Fight Night 118 drew an announced attendance of 11,138 for a live gate of $677,000.

Betting favorites went 8-3 on the card.

Total fight time for the 11-bout card was 2:18:34.

Main card

Till’s 17-fight undefeated streak in MMA competition is fifth longest among active UFC fighters behind Khabib Nurmagomedov (24), Jimmie Rivera (20), Cris Cyborg and Justin Gaethje (18).

Till has earned 12 of his 16 career victories by stoppage.

Till has earned both of his stoppage UFC victories by knockout.

Cerrone fell to 4-3 since he moved up to the UFC welterweight division in February 2015.

Cerrone suffered his third consecutive loss to extend the longest skid of his career. He hasn’t earned a victory since December.

Cerrone has suffered both of his UFC welterweight stoppage victories by knockout.

Karolina Kowalkiewicz (11-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) has all four of her UFC victories by decision. She hasn’t earned a stoppage since May 2014.

Blachowicz (20-7 MMA, 3-4 UFC) earned his first submission victory since May 21, 2011 – a span of 2,345 days (more than six years) and 11 fights.

Devin Clark (8-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) suffered the first submission loss of his career.

Oskar Piechota (10-0-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) earned the first decision victory of his career.

Jonathan Wilson (7-3 MMA, 1-3 UFC) suffered his third consecutive loss after starting his career on a seven-fight winning streak. He hasn’t earned a victory since August 2015.

Wilson was unsuccessful in his UFC middleweight debut.

Preliminary card

Marcin Held (23-7 MMA, 1-3 UFC) snapped the first three-fight losing skid of his career and earned his first victory since May 2016.

Nasrat Haqparast (8-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) had his eight-fight winning streak snapped for his first defeat since December 2012.

Haqparast suffered the first decision loss of his career.

Kelleher (18-8 MMA, 2-1 UFC) has earned 15 of his 18 career victories by stoppage. That includes both of his UFC wins.

Stasiak (10-5 MMA, 2-3 UFC) suffered the first knockout loss of his career.

Ramazan Emeev (16-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC) improved to 13-1 in his past 14 fights. He hasn’t suffered a loss since September 2014.

Sam Alvey (31-10 MMA, 8-5 UFC) has suffered eight of his 10 career losses by decision.

Andre Fili (17-5 MMA, 5-4 UFC) has alternated wins and losses over his nine-fight UFC career.

Artem Lobov (13-14-1 MMA, 2-4 UFC) fell to 5-6-1 in his past 12 career fights.

Lobov has suffered 11 of his 14 career losses by decision. That includes all four of his UFC defeats.

Aspen Ladd (6-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) has earned five of her six career victories by stoppage.

Lina Lansberg (7-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC) has suffered all three of her career losses by knockout.

Josh Emmett (12-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) was successful in his UFC featherweight debut.

Emmett has earned all three of his UFC victories by decision.

Emmett’s four knockdowns are tied for third most in a UFC fight. Only Jeremy Stephens (six) at UFC 215 and Forrest Petz (five) at UFC Fight Night 6 have scored more knockdowns in a fight.

Emmett’s four knockdowns in a round marked the new single-fight UFC record.

Felipe Arantes (18-9-1 MMA, 5-5-1 UFC) was unsuccessful in his return to the UFC featherweight division.

Arantes has suffered seven of his nine career losses by decision. That includes all five of his UFC defeats.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 118, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

FightMetric research analyst and live statistics producer Michael Carroll contributed to this story. Follow him on Twitter @MJCflipdascript.

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator 185 post-event facts: Heather Hardy suffers 1st combat sports loss

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The Bellator 185 main event came down to the wire when latest UFC crossover Gegard Mousasi narrowly escaped with a victory over Alexander Shlemenko in Friday’s headliner.

Mousasi (43-6-2 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) earned a unanimous-decision win over Shlemenko (56-10 MMA, 12-4 BMMA) in the Spike-televised middleweight main event at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., giving him his first win since parting ways with the UFC earlier this year.

Mousasi’s victory closed out of a five-fight main card, which saw three contests decided by the scorecards. For more on the numbers behind the show, check out 20 post-event facts about Bellator 185.

* * * *

General

Debuting fighters went 3-3 at the event.

Betting favorites went 3-2 on the main card.

Betting favorites fell to 11-4 (with one even odds) in Bellator main events this year.

Total fight time for the five-bout main card was 59:27.

* * * *

Main card

Gegard Mousasi at Bellator 185. (Dave Mandel, USA TODAY Sports)

Mousasi was successful in his Bellator debut. He’s earned victories in 17 different organizations during his career.

Mousasi’s six-fight winning streak is his longest since December 2009.

Mousasi improved to 9-1 in his past 10 fights.

Shlemenko had his seven-fight unbeaten streak snapped for his first defeat since September 2014.

Alexander Shlemenko (blue gloves) fight Gegard Mousasi (red gloves) during Bellator 185. (Dave Mandel, USA TODAY Sports)

Shlemenko fell to 1-3 (with one no-contest) in his past five Bellator appearances.

Shlemenko suffered his first decision loss since Oct. 28, 2010 – a span of 2,549 days (nearly seven years) and 23 fights.

Neiman Gracie (7-0 MMA, 5-0 BMMA) improved to 4-0 since he dropped to the welterweight division in February 2015.

Gracie has earned six of his seven career victories by stoppage. All of those wins are by submission.

Zak Bucia (18-9 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) suffered the first submission loss of his career.

Kristina Williams (1-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) was successful in her pro debut.

Kristina Williams (blue gloves) fights Heather Hardy (red gloves) during Bellator 185. (Dave Mandel, USA TODAY Sports)

Heather Hardy (1-1 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) suffered the first loss in 23 fights of MMA and boxing combined competition.

Ryan Quinn (14-7-1 MMA, 8-1 BMMA) has earned five of his eight Bellator victories by decision.

Marcus Surin (4-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) had his four-fight winning streak snapped for the first defeat of his career.

Lisa Blaine (2-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) earned the first decision victory of her career.

Ana Julaton (2-3 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) suffered consecutive losses for the first time in her career. She hasn’t earned a victory since December 2014.

Julaton has suffered all three of her career losses by decision.

For complete coverage of Bellator 185, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Why Did Conor McGregor Get Sent Away at UFC Gdansk?

Conor McGregor was in attendance at UFC Fight Night 118 on Saturday in Gdansk, Poland, to support teammate Artem Lobov, but got rebuked by the referee.

As Lobov was fighting a losing battle against Andre Fili, McGregor was stalking Octagonside, yelling to his teammate. Partway through the fight, however, referee Marc Goddard ordered McGregor to move away from the Octagon and return to his seat.

Goddard later spoke to MMAFighting, explaining that his reason for casting McGregor away was because it was giving Lobov an unfair advantage. It didn’t matter to Goddard that McGregor is the UFC’s biggest star, he wasn’t going to allow the Irishman any special privilege, particularly when it could affect the fight.

Conor McGregor“The reason I interjected is because Artem gets a fourth cornerman cage side giving instruction,” Goddard told MMAFighting. “That’s not allowed. Imagine had Conor talked him through a fight-ending sequence. Then what?

“Conor was basically acting like a fourth cornerman,” he continued. “Walking around the cageside wherever and whenever he wanted. When Fili took down Artem, Conor was right there. That’s simply not fair and not allowed. I won’t have it. He can’t do as he pleases.”

Of course, Goddard explained, if McGregor had remained at his seat, stood up and shouted the same things to Lobov, he was more than welcome to do so. It was more the matter that he was approaching the Octagon, close enough that he was in effect a fourth corner for the Russian fighter. 

TRENDING > Conor McGregor’s Coach: Tony Ferguson Looks Like ‘More Logical’ Fight Than Nate Diaz

Fili went on to win the fight in a route, earning scores of 30-27 from all three judges.

Fili (17-5) has now won two of three fights in the UFC. Lobov (13-14-1, 1 NC), who trains out of SBG Ireland with McGregor, has lost two straight.

“What he is not allowed to do is approach the cage at any point and, as I say, act as the fourth corner. That’s unfair and unjust.”

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Source: MMA Weekly

Trading Shots: What does it tell us when former UFC fighters struggle in Bellator?

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, UFC

Former UFC fighters are finding that the transition to Bellator isn’t always an easy one, so what does that tell us about the true difference in talent between the two promotions? MMAjunkie columnist Ben Fowlkes and retired UFC and WEC fighter Danny Downes discuss.

Fowlkes: Well, Danny, if you were thinking that you’d come out of retirement and cruise through the Bellator ranks, might be time to reconsider that strategy.

On Friday night Gegard Mousasi was the latest former UFC fighter to meet more resistance than expected in Bellator. Unlike Lorenz Larkin and Benson Henderson, he still got the win in the end, but he faced some stiff competition from Alexander Shlemenko, and the evidence was written all over his face by the end.

As the sample size grows, is it time to start asking ourselves whether we’ve been selling the competition short in Bellator? Mousasi left the UFC on a five-fight winning streak. If you put him in a fight with the current UFC middleweight champion, he’s probably the favorite. Yet he still got all he could handle in his first fight with Bellator.

As Bellator CEO Scott Coker loves to point out, people did the same with Strikeforce fighters, downplaying their skills because they weren’t in the UFC. But several of them became champs once they finally made the jump to the UFC. Are we making the same mistake all over again with Bellator as the lesser-known MMA organization? If so, will we ever stop making that particular blunder?

Downes: Welcome to the club, Ben! Those of us who actually watch the sport of MMA instead of being a Zuffa Zombie (although I guess now they’re the Endeavor Eunuchs) have known about Bellator for some time. Especially considering the way the UFC roster has ballooned the last couple years, the talent gap outside the top five has drastically narrowed.

We should be asking ourselves if we’ve been selling the competition short, but I wouldn’t count on too many others joining the fold any time soon. The UFC bias is too strong. In Mousasi’s case, despite the fact that he’s competed in every MMA organization you can think of, people will think of him as an “also ran,” like he couldn’t hack it in the UFC.

The same holds true for Phil Davis and Ryan Bader. Even Eddie Alvarez, who became UFC champion after a successful career in Bellator, doesn’t get the credit he deserves. He lost his UFC debut to Donald Cerrone, therefore Bellator is the minor leagues!

Part of it is also Bellator’s own doing. In an effort to deliver some name brand fighters, the “legends tour” moniker can seem too familiar. We all love a good “freak show” fight, but even then Bellator is held to a different standard. If Royce Gracie vs. Ken Shamrock III happens inside a Rizin ring instead of a Bellator cage, I think the feelings and expectations are much different.

We often talk about how the number of UFC events can make fans feel less inclined to watch. This has ramifications outside the UFC. Even though Bellator and the UFC rarely go head to head, there’s only so much MMA you can consume. Even the hardcore fans have to go to work and occasionally bathe. Who has time for another MMA promotion?

The boom period of MMA is over. Isn’t it too late to catch up to the UFC now? If not, how do they gain ground?

Fowlkes: First of all, props for being the hip guy who knew Bellator was good before it was cool. Second, how do you catch the UFC from behind? Maybe you have to meet it halfway.

Bellator has been slowly gaining ground on the UFC, both through its own talent acquisitions and the UFC’s missteps, but there’s still a ways to go. What I wonder is whether it helps that cause to see former UFC fighters struggle in the Bellator cage.

On one hand, you paid good money to lure these fighters away, so you want to make your investment back. You want them to be the successful stars you thought you were paying for, right?

On the other hand, if they come over and get roughed up by existing Bellator fighters, it prompts the kind of conversation we’re having now.

Or maybe it doesn’t. Maybe some people see it as proof that the UFC was right to let that guy go. Maybe they don’t even notice, because Bellator just draws so much less attention to begin with.

Or maybe this conversation about quality of fighters isn’t one that most fans are truly interested in anymore. We used to love that argument when it was PRIDE vs. UFC. We loved it slightly less when it was Strikeforce vs. UFC. But could it be that the UFC brand name is so solidified at this point that a certain segment of the fan base doesn’t even care if it’s where the best fighters are?

That’d be a little depressing, now that I think about it. But does that mean it’s not true?

Downes: I take it back. We don’t want you in our club anymore. I bet you’d probably never pay your dues.

There is something to the thought that the UFC is so ingrained as the face of MMA that it would be hard to catch it (there’s something to it because I said the exact same thing earlier, and you repackaged it as your own thought). People like to make fun of the “I train UFC” crowd, but there’s something to the joke. The term MMA may have more traction now than ever, but there are still a huge number of fans who think UFC = MMA.

Part of that has to do with the role of media. Dana White may talk about Bellator’s Viacom money, but the UFC has a lock on content. In mainstream outlets like ESPN or FS1, the UFC is the MMA content.

This brings us to a chicken or the egg argument. The UFC receives the most coverage because that’s what fans want. But how much of that has to do with what we give them?

Can you name three Bellator champs? How many fighters on the Bellator roster can you list? Is Alexander Griboyedov a current heavyweight or a 19th century Russian playwright? Certainly the failure to answer those questions isn’t the media’s fault, but we have to wonder if fans will ever be willing (or able) to make up that lost ground in the information battle.

Having good fights isn’t enough. What that extra piece of the puzzle is, I don’t know. I do know that there are only so many hours in a day, so many articles a website can write, and so much time an MMA fan can commit. Maybe fans will start to commit more of that time to Bellator. But maybe they’ll find something else to do. If they do that, it won’t just be bad for Coker – it’ll be bad for everyone.

Ben Fowlkes is MMAjunkie and USA TODAY’s MMA columnist. Danny Downes, a retired UFC and WEC fighter, is an MMAjunkie contributor who has also written for UFC.com and UFC 360. Follow them on twitter at @benfowlkesMMA and @dannyboydownes.

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Ramazan Emeev mulling drop to 170 after UFC-debut win at UFC-Gdansk

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

Ramazan Emeev is considering a change in weight class for his next fight despite picking up a convincing win over an established name in the middleweight division at UFC Fight Night 118.

Emeev (16-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC) earned a unanimous-decision victory over Sam Alvey (31-10 MMA, 8-5 UFC) on Saturday’s UFC Fight Pass-streamed card at Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland.

The performance marked his 13th win in his past 14 fights, and though the Russian hasn’t suffered a loss in nearly three years, he said a drop to welterweight may be in order.

“To be honest I’m thinking to change my fighting category to welterweight,” Emeev told MMAjunkie through an interpreter following his fight with Alvey. “I am going to be good in that category, and think I can do fights in that category at welterweight.”

After settling in well with his first octagon appearance, Emeev apparently believes the 170-pound division will bring out his best. He’s off to a nice start, though; Alvey came into the fight on the high of a win over former UFC champion Rashad Evans.

Emeev, 30, said he’s grateful he got such a notable opponent for his debut, even if it came under the circumstances of Alvey stepping in as a short-notice replacement and missing weight.

“Since the beginning of my career, I tried to come to UFC,” Emeev said. “I worked very hard for this. … I’m really happy they gave me a good fighter high in the rankings. He’s 16th place, and I’m really happy that I won.”

Emeev is the latest in an ever-growing line of Russian fighters to join the UFC roster after thriving outside of the organization. His debut showed he belongs, but Emeev said his aspirations only go higher from here, and that includes fighting lighter than 185 pounds for the first time.

“I’ll rest a little bit and talk to my manager,” Emeev said. “I came here to be a champion, and there’s no other way than UFC.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 118, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Conor McGregor: The Christening of Conor Jr.

Conor McGregor and Company went all out for the christening of his son, Conor Jr. The UFC lightweight champ shared the special time with his friends, family, and the world via his Instagram account.

Conor Jr's Christening! @augustxmcgregor

A post shared by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma) on Oct 16, 2017 at 10:02am PDT

Mac land

A post shared by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma) on Oct 16, 2017 at 11:49am PDT

A great day for my little man! #Blessed @ginger_beard_photos

A post shared by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma) on Oct 17, 2017 at 10:05am PDT

Baby mama

A post shared by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma) on Oct 17, 2017 at 10:09am PDT

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Source: MMA Weekly